Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Spring picture books for little one's 'reading' pleasure [Review & Giveaway USA & CANADA]

Chirp! by Mary Murphy

My thoughts:  When I first got hearing aids, I was amazed that I could hear the birds! What a wonderful hearing experience. I now have 3 bird feeders and a couple of suet block perches for the birds and I love to watch and listen to their melodies. Alas, I can not hear well enough to differentiate their individual songs and thus identify them by their chirps. My daughter-in-law also has bird feeders and a wonderful camera to capture their images. She also has a wonderful sense of hearing and can identify them by their individual songs.
In this brightly colored book the child can enjoy how the various birds begin the day with their own chirp, voice, song greeting the day. A nice introduction for a child to enjoy the songs, sounds, and variety of birds in our world.

About the book: Each bird gives voice to its own song in a luminous board book celebrating the turning of a new day.

Chee chee, says the Wren.
Ta-tee-tee, sings the Lark.
Tink-tink, calls the Finch.
Goodbye to the dark.

With the chirp of a sparrow and the warble of a thrush, night turns to morning against a vivid, brightening sky. One by one, each bird wakes up and issues its call, with songs rising into a crescendo until a little bluebird calls for a hush—and finds its own voice. With bold shapes, deeply saturated colors, and simple language, Mary Murphy revels in the joy of sound and offers an ode to individuality sure to enchant the youngest of listeners.

Ear Worms by Jo Knowles & illustrated by Galia Bernstein

My thoughts:  Who hasn't had a song wiggle in their mind from time to time often invoking memories or it might be an unrecognizable tune but one that has "staying power." In Ear Worm! a delightful menagerie of forest critters leap and cavort to the tune that they alone can hear.

The illustrations are delightful and full of charm. The individual critter's tune is given in text format and you can compose your own music for it. I can envision a classroom of youngsters each pretending to be one of the critters and eventually a whole chorus ensues.

A cute book. 

About the book: A musical treat for the ear and eye, this antic tale of a worm on a mission doubles as a cozy bedtime book.

One summer day, as Little Worm heads out to play, he discovers he has a song stuck in his head. “What’s that you’re singing?” Owl asks, but Little Worm can’t say. He wriggles past, determined to learn who filled his head with “Shimmy shimmy, no-sashay.” Owl flaps along with a song of his own, and before long Chipmunk, Bunny, and Fox fall in line, each contributing an ear worm to the joyful cacophony. Amid all the singing and dancing, Little Worm forgets his musical mystery until later when—surprise!—Papa Worm tucks him in. Hip, vintage-inspired illustrations and whimsical typesetting meet movement, sound play, and comic, cumulative delights in a picture book that will charm media-savvy children and their parents alike.

First & Lasts: The Changing Seasons by Leda Schubert & illustrated by Clover Robin

My thoughts:
  Such an interesting concept to explore the seasons. This is also a deeper concept on life and how the first and last experiences as one finds them in the seasons of life are rare and poignant. But this is a children's book, so let's see the delight for children....

We're familiar with seeing the first flower in the warming days of spring or the first snowfall of winter. But the author of First & lasts: The Changing Seasons draws our attention to what ends as the new season begins as well as what first things we see in the new season.

I found it a deeply challenging thought concept. It awakens our senses to our ever changing world in a broader sense than the newness of change. I think it a grand opportunity to explore this sweeping change idea within our adult selves as well as introduce the idea to children.

I highly recommend.

About the book: With evocative words and glorious cut-paper collages, this celebration of the transitions between seasons summons the first—and last—signals of the seasonal cycle.

What is the first sign of spring? And what is the last glimpse of winter? The joy of the changing seasons means saying hello to new but familiar rituals, like spring picnics in the park or homemade lemonade in summer. But there’s also the bittersweet feeling of doing something for the last time, like mowing the lawn one final time on a brown day in autumn, or watching the last of the geese fly south in the early weeks of winter. Whichever way you mark the changing of the seasons, every year feels like an extraordinary miracle! In this jubilant ode to seasonal rituals, Leda Schubert evokes the familiar, enchanting rhythm of the four seasons, while Clover Robin’s bold collages bring warmth and magic to everyday occurrences.

Marshmallow Clouds: Two Poets at Play among Figures of Speech by Ted Kooser & Connie Waner, illustrated by Richard Jones

My thoughts:
  Poetry has changed greatly since I was a child in school. Rarely these days do we see iambic pentameter or words that rhyme in poetry. No longer do we see the movement and flow of words as they magically roll off our tongues.

Instead, we have prose that doesn't rhyme and stanzas that seem to have paragraph breaks and formatting that fails to use "word wrap" creating an appearance of traditional poetry.

That is not to say there is no redemption in today's "poetry" such as is in Marshmallow Clouds. I was delighted with the word pictures poets Kooser and Wanek drew throughout the book. I was also disappointed that yet another book of poems lacked the treasure of poetry of bygone days.

I enjoyed "Gas" with its vision of what gas is and how it powers our cars and also how it pictures "the big oaks and imagine them after another million years, filling someone's gas tank with acorns." Or... "pine pitch, the golden blood of the tree."

Lovely word pictures. 

The book is divided into four sections: Fire, Water, Air, Earth. Each section a collection. Interesting. Lovely. Thoughtful. While this is a picture book, I think the span of reader's appropriate age reaches to the upper grades as well as adults who wish to delve into a rich assortment of lovely words.

About the book: Celebrated poets Ted Kooser along with Connie Wanek, and illustrator Richard Jones, explore figures of speech in a spirited and magical way—and invite our imaginations out to play.

A freewheeling romp through the world of imagery and metaphor, this quietly startling collection of thirty poems, framed by the four elements, is about art and reality, fact and fancy. Look around: what do you see? A clown balancing a pie in a tree, or an empty nest perched on a leafless branch? As poet Connie Wanek alludes to in her afterword—a lively dialogue with former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser—sometimes the simplest sights and sounds “summon our imaginations” and cry out to be clothed in the alchemical language of poetry. This compendium of the fleeting and unexpected turns the everyday—turtles, trees, and tadpoles; cow pies, lazy afternoons, and pillowy white marshmallows—into poetic gold. A brilliant and timeless collaboration that evokes both the mystery and grandeur of the natural world and the cozy, mundane moments of daily life, this exquisitely illustrated collection is the go-to gift book of the season for poetry fans of all ages.

Begins March 8
Ends April 4 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA
No P.O.Boxes
Canadian Winners must provide phone number
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies of the books reviewed to faciliate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prizes are provided and shipped directly to the winner by the publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


  1. thank you for sharing this wonderful give a way. Today I will be sending a St. Patties pot holder to our daughter that I made for her.

  2. today - I will be calling my daughter in CA. We plan on having a special mother/daughter call. Full of all the feels for both of us.

  3. helped my husband bring his sister back down to earth mentally. She was all worked up and needed some level headedness and gentle words to help her.

  4. picked up groceries for a friend

  5. picked up meds for a friend

  6. Great covers. Help wherever I can.

  7. fed the widlife

  8. compliment a cashier

  9. Help taking care of my 81 year old neighbor who has stage 2 bone cancer. :(

  10. got a gift for a friend

  11. wished my grandson happy birthday.

  12. had tea with a friend

  13. picked up a friend's groceries

  14. A friend used my car to get groceries.


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